CC BY-NC-ND 4.0 · The Arab Journal of Interventional Radiology 2022; 06(02): 056-062
DOI: 10.1055/s-0042-1758698
Original Article

Segmental Yttrium-90 Radioembolization as an Initial Treatment for Solitary Unresectable HCC

Natalie J. Rothenberger
1   Geisinger Commonwealth School of Medicine, Scranton, Pennsylvania, United States
Qian Yu
2   Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Shakthi K. Ramasamy
3   Department of Radiology, Stanford University, Stanford, California, United States
Thuong Van Ha
2   Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Steven Zangan
2   Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Rakesh Navuluri
2   Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
Osman Ahmed
2   Department of Radiology, University of Chicago, Chicago, Illinois, United States
› Author Affiliations


Objectives To evaluate the objective response rate (ORR), time to progression (TTP), and overall survival (OS) in patients with unresectable solitary HCC less than 5 cm who were treated with 90Y glass microspheres infused at a segmental level.

Materials and Methods Single-institution retrospective study of 35 patients with unresectable HCC deemed not suitable for percutaneous ablation who underwent segmental transarterial radioembolization (TARE) treatment. Eligibility criteria included patients with solitary, unilobar, < 5 cm unresectable HCC lesions who underwent TARE as a primary treatment strategy between November 2012 and April 2020. Imaging follow-up was performed on each patient at 3-, 6-, and 12 months post-treatment. Local and the overall tumor response was evaluated using mRECIST criteria, and primary endpoints were ORR, TTP, and OS. Adverse events (AEs) were graded for severity using the Common Terminology Criteria for Adverse Events (CTCAE) v.5.0.

Statistical Analysis Patient demographics, baseline characteristics, and treatment characteristics were analyzed using descriptive statistics. Predictors of survival were analyzed with Cox proportional hazards regression. Kaplan–Meier analysis was used to evaluate OS.

Results Median tumor size was 3 cm (range: 1.0-4.8 cm) in the 35 patients studied, with 25.7% (9/35) being the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group (ECOG) 0 and 62.9% (22/35) ECOG 1. Most patients (88.5%, 31/35) were of the Barcelona Clinic Liver Cancer (BCLC) stage C, with one patient each classified as BCLC-A and BCLC-0, respectively. For 34.2% (12/35), TARE functioned as a bridge to transplantation. Transplanted patients exhibited a median pathologic necrosis of 98% (IQR 7.5). Combined ORR for local and overall mRECIST at 12 months post-TARE was 94.3% and 85.7%, respectively. All patients had a mean local TTP of 11.9 months (CI: 2.7–21.0) and global TTP of 13.2 months (CI: 6.4–20.0). Among the 14.3% (5/35) of patients who experienced AEs following treatment, 80% (4/5) were Grade 1, one patient experienced a Grade 4, and all events resolved within 1 month of treatment. Total OS at 1 year was 97%, whereas patients who underwent OLT had an OS of 100%.

Conclusion Segmental TARE was a safe and effective treatment for solitary unresectable HCC less than 5 cm. When used as a bridge to transplant, explants showed near complete pathologic necrosis of treated lesions.

Authors' Contributions

Study concept and design, O.A., data acquisition, N.J.R., statistical Analysis, N.J.R., Q.Y., manuscript preparation, N.J.R., S.K.R., and O.A., manuscript editing, revision, and review, O.A., N.J.R., Q.Y., T.V.H., S.Z., and R.N.

Earlier Presentation

This preliminary results of this study were presented at the PAIRS conference as a poster on May 11, 2022.

Study Approval

This study was approved by the Institutional Review Board at University of Chicago and conducted in accordance with the Declaration of Helsinki.

Publication History

Article published online:
15 December 2022

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